The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

August 27, 2013

PSU, Fort Scott college discuss possible partnership

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Pittsburg State University and Fort Scott Community College are considering furthering their partnership. Just what such a partnership might look like has not yet fully been determined.

On Tuesday afternoon, the presidents of both institutions held the first of what they say will be several chances for stakeholders to weigh in.

PSU President Steve Scott and FSCC President Clayton Tatro, a graduate of PSU, stopped short of using the word “merger.”

Both emphasized the long-standing partnership between the two institutions, which began in 1985 with the Pittsburg School of Beauty (now Pittsburg Cosmetology). Tatro said 17 percent of FSCC’s operations are in Crawford County — primarily in Pittsburg and Frontenac — including the Harley-Davidson school, John Deere school and construction trades. In addition, FSCC students take community college courses on PSU’s campus, live in the residence halls, and eat in the dining areas.

“When you think about the challenges that are facing higher education right now, it is a very interesting time as we look at state support, local support, trying to figure out how we can do more with less and be more efficient with what we have,” Tatro said.

Tatro said he first approached Scott in January with the question of what such a model might look like. Senior leadership at both institutions met to begin conversations on a conceptual model, having analyzed 12 other models in other states and narrowing the field to three.

Both presidents said an expanded partnership would have the potential to generate greater economic efficiencies for both campuses. Similar models have successfully been put into place in other states, but this partnership would be the first of its kind in Kansas.

In a slide show that soon will be made available to the public via the PSU website, they outlined possible elements of such a model. Those possibilities are:

• The Kansas Board of Regents assumes the role of governance and supervision of the two entities.

• PSU oversees personnel, finances and building maintenance.

• Oversight and management is through one senior president and a senior administrator.

• A locally elected board of trustees oversees local matters.

• Policies, procedures and business functions are aligned, and a seamless student integration system is in place.

• Best practices are shared.

• FSCC faculty, staff and administration are employees of PSU.

Scott also outlined suggested stand-alone elements, wherein both institutions would maintain independence. Those elements are:

• Athletic programs.

• Endowments/foundations.

• Regional accreditation.

• The preservation of existing funding streams.

Tatro and Scott told the group the benefits to students would include streamlined systems that help goal completion, and access to expanded education and training. For the community and region, it would mean a skilled work force and optimal stewardship of limited resources. For the state, it would mean added funding, a tested model that could be replicated elsewhere, a skilled work force and optimal stewardship of resources.

Now what?

A public forum also was held in Fort Scott on Tuesday night. Pittsburg State University President Steve Scott said senior leadership will review feedback, with the goal of presenting a final plan to the Fort Scott Community College Board of Trustees and Kansas Board of Regents before the end of the year. Any proposed plan would have to be approved by both governing bodies.


Text Only
Local News
  • Ballot issues dominate GOP event

    A maze of campaign yard signs lined the sidewalk at Big Spring Park, leading up to a line of local candidates for public office with rolled-up sleeves shaking hands with potential voters.

    July 24, 2014

  • Mike Pound: It’s time for some football

    The arrests, the announced suspensions and the contract disputes can mean only one thing: Somebody is ready for some football.

    July 24, 2014

  • Landfill opponents seek answers

    The Baxter Springs High School auditorium was filled with hundreds of Cherokee County residents Thursday night as Galena city officials answered questions and listened to comments regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 24, 2014

  • Hanaway says leadership missing under Gov. Nixon

    When Republican gubernatorial hopeful Catherine Hanaway walked into the banquet room at Granny Shaffer’s Restaurant this week, she was greeted by some of Joplin’s more prominent business leaders.

    July 24, 2014

  • Neosho athletes bring home silver

    For 19-year-old Dominque Dechant, it was the trip of a lifetime. She and three other athletes from Neosho traveled last month to Newark, New Jersey, as part of the Missouri Special Olympics girls basketball team.

    July 24, 2014

  • r072414msw.jpg VIDEO: Carterville company expands to third generation

    What began as Ray “Mac” McCoy’s side job in his home 55 years ago has grown not only in square footage and reach, but in generations. This summer, a third generation took over the reins of MSW — Mac’s Specialty Woodwork — that now exceeds 90,000 square feet and creates custom furniture for chain restaurants coast to coast.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Shrine Bowl band, cheerleaders, players arrive in Pittsburg this week

    Band members were the first Kansas Shrine Bowl participants to arrive at Pittsburg State University this week.

    July 24, 2014

  • Galena council rescinds landfill decisions

    The Galena City Council voted Wednesday to rescind decisions it made two weeks ago regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 23, 2014

  • Miami council waives fees for barbecue event

    The Miami City Council voted Tuesday to waive $3,750 in usage fees for Miami Elks Lodge No. 1320 for an upcoming barbecue championship at the Miami Fairgrounds.

    July 23, 2014

  • Carthage prepares for Marian Days

    The 37th annual Marian Days celebration will start in two weeks, and planning is well under way for the event that will bring tens of thousands of Catholics of Vietnamese descent to Carthage.

    July 23, 2014

Must Read


Amendment 8 in Missouri proposes a special lottery ticket to help fund state veterans homes. How will you vote?

For it.
Against it.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter